The United States has signed an agreement with China to lease an unmanned lunar rover to the nation’s space agency for a one-year period.
The launch of the rover was scheduled for this month.
The deal will give the U.S. a way to test the capabilities of the robotic vehicle and potentially take it to the moon.
The lunar rover, known as Lunar Exploration Rovers, or LORVs, is capable of landing on the surface of the moon or Mars.
It will carry the agency’s rover, the Lunar Prospector, and other scientific instruments.
The agreement, signed Friday, was signed by the U,S.
ambassador to China, Mark Lilla.
The two sides have also agreed to share data on the LORVs capabilities, and to begin discussions with industry to develop an advanced lunar rover capable of delivering supplies to the lunar surface.
The LORVS, which was originally developed by the United States in the 1960s, is the most advanced manned lunar rover ever built.
China has used it for scientific research and exploration, and in a 2011 lunar landing, it was used to bring back a robotic arm to the surface.
China also has a lunar outpost, known by the acronym Yutu.
The Yutus are expected to be able to land a rover on the moon at some point in the next few decades.
The United States is currently planning to land the rover on an unmanned test flight by 2021, but it has been unable to secure an international launch permit.
Lilla said Friday the United Kingdom will not allow the Lorus to be launched on its territory because of the safety and privacy concerns associated with a manned lunar landing.
The space agency said in a statement that the Lorean mission would help the agency develop and deploy technology for future manned lunar missions, including lunar landings, and explore the Moon’s atmosphere and geology.